We pretty much give it all to Caesar (the government) until April or May or beyond each year, right?  So here’s a thought.  Be a ceaser instead!  Stop paying so much.  We’re not saying to quit paying taxes.  Just quit paying more than you have to.

Here’s a trick that we wish we learned many years ago because it could have saved us a bundle on taxes.  This isn’t talked about a lot.  But it got us thinking, hmm…

If you give money to charities or other causes that are tax deductible and/or have other deductions (such as mortgage interest, property tax, other taxes) that are sufficient enough to push you from taking a standard deduction on your tax return to itemizing these things, then here it is.

After you have given/paid these tax deductible things throughout the year, if you have the extra cash then give/pay next year’s items too in December.  In fact, plan to have the extra cash to do this.  That way when you file your taxes you’ll have a whole heap more tax deductible items.

Then the following year, take the standard deduction.  Since you will have given/paid most or all of that year’s items the previous December, it’s likely that the standard deduction will be by far greater than whatever tax deductible items are left for that year. 

Get it?  You itemize one year and take the standard deduction the next.  Then itemize the next, standard deduction the next and so on.  The years you itemize you always do two years’ worth of deductible giving, interest, and taxes if you can.

But do the math first.  Plan it all out to determine just what the savings will be.  Yes, it will require some not-so-fun digging through your tax records.  But you really could save thousands for your efforts.  Once you figure it out the first time and have a plan, it will be relatively easy after that.

Just think of the possibilities of not giving it all to the government.  Maybe some causes near and dear to your heart can benefit instead.

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    Boiled down money goo guru, Dan